Money and Relationships

AKA The Adage of Never Mix Business with Pleasure: Relationship Edition

I doubt there is a person out there who has never heard the warnings against mixing business with pleasure.  Announcing plans on going into a financial partnership with your best friend will elicit gasps, dire warnings, and a whole barrage of “never do that” anecdotes.  It’s a very simple concept to grap, when finances are involved the relationship will suffer at one point or another, and very often erupt into irreconcilable differences that sever the friendship.  Ok, so we all agree that this adage is well known, and is ripe with a million and one examples?

Then how the hell are relationships supposed to survive this very thing.  Mixing sex, love, a partnership with the obvious financial merging of two people is supposed to be taboo (never sleep with a coworker as an example).  Something that we are supposed to avoid in friends but have zero choice about in long term relationships.  Does anyone else find this mind-numbingly insane?  Instead of teaching partners on any level about how to do this legally or otherwise we completely and almost universally clam up about this.  It’s almost as if society seems grateful that two people can share financial difficulties as a unit and solidly behind closed doors.  It takes the public pressure off of this glaring deficit in our societal norms.  There is no medium for dealing with these things.  Instead we completely remove finances from the public discourse, very similarly to the way we avoid talking about sex in public.  And the bottom line for me is that the subject of money is my weakest link.

I, feel great shame talking about debt.  I feel even worse feeling like a financial burden on my partner and would love to continue just avoiding the whole conversation.  And yet, there is simply no way to separate the money from the relationship for any length of time.  It’s impossible.

And it freaking sucks!  Money should not be the cause of such a high divorce rate in our culture.  And there should not be a gender gap when it comes to income earning and I could honestly just go on and on about all the crappy reasons and excuses that I can to explain why I feel so lost and helpless at this very moment.  I’m struggling to understand how two people, who are supposed to be partners can survive if there is financial disparity.  Is it up to one to be burdened by the guilt of the other?  Are the two just supposed to accept the past mistakes and help each other move forward?  Or as in my case, is my extreme stubbornness to fix my own mistakes and problems going to be the detriment of the most amazing relationship that I have ever had?

These aren’t easy questions to ask, and even harder to answer.  But ultimately that’s where you end up when things in your culture, society or even household are taboo.  You end up in what feels like a no-win scenario.  Wishing you could fix things with the snap of a finger or press the magic reset button that will allow you to move forward without having to face the music head on.  I’m talking about money and relationships because it is hard and scary, especially for me.  I am clawing my way up from debt one day at a time.  That is my mission and mandate.  And most importantly, my promise to myself.  And someday, I hope that this small step forward will lead me to be able to more openly discuss my finances, the good, the bad and the ugly.

 

If you want to see the behind the scenes photo’s from this post, check out my Patreon!

 

The Amazing Journey Discovering Members of the Sex Positive Community

I have been using tag Sex Positive for quite sometime.  In my blogging and networking, it seems to be one of those phrases that unites people and conversation.  Those who use #SexPositive are more likely to interact on a level beyond just simply getting off, and that is where I am most comfortably niched.  People who just demand seeing my boobs or like to DM me for jackoff material never seem to last very long in my circle.  And it was after one too many of the latter mentioned that prompted me to change the conversation last week and create my first hashtag, #SexPositiveCommunity.

And here is what happened…

Magic!

An entire community of bloggers, authors, sex educators and those who are happy to live in a sex positive community liked, retweeted and gave props to all their favorite people in the community.  Within 2 days over 15’000 impressions were made.  While that may sound like small potatoes in the age of viral videos reaching a million hits time and time again, this was a seed that planted hope in many of our minds.  It gave a voice and a forum to incredibly well known personalities and reached all the way to  the smallest of us.  It showed love, support and encouragement.  And one of the coolest things was being introduced to a plethora of new creators.

Being Sex Positive is important.  It goes beyond porn and sex.  It means education of Safe Sex, of safety in the world of play, of allowing kinks and fetishes to have a place in the community and of course encourage gender equality.  Sex is a part of our history, present and future.  It is important that we understand and embrace it, rather than fear or control it.  It is a way of connecting with other human beings on a level much deeper and incredible than our day to day interactions.

So thank you so much to all the people who participated, and helped to lift another member of the community up!  You were heard, and you absolutely made a positive impact on someone’s day!

If you want to join the conversation or be part of the next wave of #SexPositiveCommunity building follow me on Twitter and take a look at some of the amazing contributors listed in this chain.

What to Tolerate as a Sex Positive Blogger?

As I went through my comment feed today (on the blog and twitter) I was struck by a strange feeling that I have become desensitized to a lot of the crappy comments I have to deal with, and I really don’t know how to feel about that. I am on a personal mission to share my experiences in non-monogamy and the communication growth that I have gained during this time. I share things about my life, my experiences, perspectives, and even the sex positive body image that I feel more often than not. I put myself out there, not to brag or gain notoriety, but instead to work through my thoughts and feelings while at the same time earnestly trying to help others going through something similar. But the thing of it is, whenever you post something online you are opening yourself up to the good, bad and the ugly.

And today, I was struck by just how unimportant the trolling has become to me. Even 6 months ago, I recall talking to @huntergash on gtfo about how much the trolls were basically ruining the online experience. I remember feeling enraged, and passionate about the subject. And now? I feel almost numb. As if, I no longer care about trying to educate or enlighten these trolling and aggressive anonymous beings. And it feels incredibly weird.

With everything going on politically right now, I guess it’s almost fitting that I feel less like my voice matters or will be heard with the correct people. As much as I try and funnel those who just want to look and not glean anything from my writing to the appropriate channels (Patreon), I still get a barrage of inappropriate comments on a seemingly daily basis. And I find myself lazily muting, or blocking them, rather that responding. Is that in part because I am much busier with life than I was 6 months ago? Or perhaps are they “winning” so speak, in that I am accepting their presence as part of publicly posting? Or is there something else that I haven’t quite thought of or just won’t admit to myself quite yet. Maybe, just maybe, it is too daunting a task to educate strangers.

Case and point. Have you ever known someone who has been overly aggressive or sexual in person, only to find that on social media they brag about how they have never been that guy and are disgusted by the men who belittle women? And did you feel helpless to call them out? Or a gut wrenching conflict to out their behaviour thereby stooping to a level they may understand? Or did you just ignore and reconsider if your memory of past behaviour was even accurate? I ask these questions publicly because I am struggling to define my role right now. I feel like my voice is falling on deaf ears. There is no educating new readers, rather, people skim and agree with the parts they like and ignore the parts they don’t. No one wants to question themselves or ask the tough questions. Have I in the past behaved inappropriately and am I willing to admit that and grow, change or even just asking questions?

I love blogging, and being public. But the reality is that it feels less important than it did in the past. It feels like the conversation is over, and people read what they like and dismiss the rest. There is no challenge of opinions or desire to better ourselves. Should I go back to scolding strangers who violate my trust and sex positive outlook? Or do I continue my latest trend of just ignoring? Honestly, it feels so challenging right now to continue the dialogue of a sex positive nature and balance the outright stupid comments with those of my incredible resources, fellow sex positive bloggers and fans.

Trust, Privacy and Openness

For all my openness and blogging and social media, I am at the core, a private person.  I have trusted many, and been burned just as often.  It hasn’t make me more cynical or guarded, just more aware of those around me.  I don’t let people in easily and when I do, well, I still maintain a bit of coldness from time to time.  It is sincerely not a trait I am conscious of, but upon the days interactions and reflections I can see moments that I wish I had been a little more inviting.  Overall, I know I have the largest inner circle of my entire life, and I have truly incredible people with whom I love dearly.  And what’s more they are people I have chosen, and am lucky enough that they have chosen me.  But let’s get on track here, I find it difficult to navigate between trust and privacy.

 

I keep many aspects of my personal life under lock and key, especially things that I have struggled with, or currently am struggling with.  And to be a little more specific, I tend not to discuss things that really suck but are out of my control.  I don’t want to whine, or bitch about my very absent family.  I don’t want to lament the fact that my step dad is now visibly absent from my life.  And I certainly do not want to go on and on about how I just don’t have the income that I feel is proper for where I want to be in life.  Instead, I keep these things to myself, and just keep picking away at them.  I work on my perceptions, my reactions to these nagging voices, and I keep doing what I love, which is writing.

 

Is the outside perception that I am fake or cold because I don’t talk about my problems?  Perhaps, but the thing of it is, I just don’t know where that line should be.  I am find sharing about 2 minutes of my problems with my friends and loved ones, but then I just want to move on.  I want desperately to discuss adventure, and all the wonderful things about our lives.  I don’t want to dwell on what cannot be immediately changed or fixed.  I have my problems, as I know those around me do.  I work hard at fixing them, little by little and just don’t find talking about them will ever solve the issues.  Because there are things that cannot be fixed by words or actions.  There are many things that are out of our control and it’s more important to learn to cope, accept or even just not sweat it when push comes to shove.

 

But again, there is a nagging voice in me that wonders if people think I’m phoney for not bitching about my life.  If perhaps, I have set a standard that they feel uncomfortable getting real with me, until I get real with them.  Is this all in my imagination?  Am I simply rationalizing a fear that is all in my head?  Honestly, I just don’t know.  So I am putting this out into the world with earnest hope that the percolation process will help me find calm, or even acceptance to a shortcoming of mine that I often fear.  That real, terrifying fear that when people learn everything about me, they will leave…

 

Thank you to all who have liked, shared and followed my journey so far. 

And if you are just clicking for the pictures, why not check out my Patreon page?

Fall is Upon Us Once Again

So many people look forward to the springtime, the season of new beginnings and the much anticipated break from the winter.  I, on the other hand, look forward to fall.  Autumn is the season of change, growth and  exciting new beginnings.  Yes, I am biased because my birthday is a few weeks away, so of course this is the full circle for me.   But also, it is the time when a natural schedule sets in, either as a result of school starting or just the days getting shorter and a necessity to plan a bit better.  There is a rhythm that fall brings, a sense of stability after a summer full of random adventures.   Or in my case misadventures and unexplored opportunities.  Le sigh.

I keep telling myself that I will grab every new opportunity that comes my way.  To take the challenge of never saying no.  But my reality is, (if you read my last post I go into a bit more detail), that I am finally comfortable with my opinions.  I have spent years finding my voice, and when even the subtlest red flag presents itself it’s so hard to just ignore and choose adventure.  It’s such a double edged sword.  One that I am not sure how to reconcile.

As far as sexual adventures go, I am 100 percent on board if they involve my partner.  I want us to continue exploring as a team.  But all solo expeditions almost feel selfish right now.  Does that make any sense?  I want us to experience new people together and get to laugh and share stories as a united front.  I don’t want to put in the effort of building up new solo prospects that are just a bunch of going nowhere men.  I know, that sounds super jaded, but if you have seen the state of online dating recently, you may have an ounce of empathy for where I am coming from.  Men who have never heard of non-monogamy just want sex.  Men who have, are really, really difficult to find.  And it becomes too time consuming to even begin a conversation.

But, here I sit, writing with my favorite movie on in the background (Labyrinth) and fall is setting in.  It is the time for a shift in mentality, and perhaps even towards a more positive and hopeful one too.  A season of soft changes, and little waves of chillier weather.  As the leaves fall, perhaps my barriers will do the same.  Maybe there is something just incredible waiting for me under the next leaf pile…

Thank you so much for reading, liking and sharing.  If you would like to support my book, please subscribe to my Patreon page!